HIV/AIDS KNOWLEDGE AND UTILISATION OF HCT UPTAKE AMONG MUSLIM YOUTH IN SOUTH WEST NIGERIA
Abstract:Nigeria has the third highest population of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Despite this, the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and uptake of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is still low, especially in the rural areas. This study assessed knowledge of HIV/AIDS and uptake of VCT among Muslim youths in a community in Oyo State, Nigeria. A pretested questionnaire was administered on a cross-section of 309 Muslim youth attending a religious programme in Iseyin town, Nigeria. Information about knowledge of HIV/AIDS and uptake of VCT was elicited among respondents. The majority of respondents did not know the need to assess and why VCT; however, knowledge of route of disease transmission was high, with majority mentioning sexual activity and unscreened blood transfusion, respectively, as possible transmission routes. Respondents listed avoidance of premarital sex, outlawing prostitution, and screening of blood before transfusion as protective measures respectively. Reasons for rejection of VCT included fear of stigma, marital disharmony, incurable nature of the disease and Islamic belief that HIV is most common among youth that are not religious because Islam is already against sexual intimacy before marriage.